Tofu Is Not a Health Food - Roger Mason
It seems that tofu is somehow synonymous with a natural food diet. Almost everyone in the natural food movement tells you to eat lots of tofu, because, “it's good for you” Most all the vegetarian cookbooks are full of tofu recipes. Not true folks. Natural foods are WHOLE, unrefined foods, full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and such beneficial things as sterols and lignans. Tofu is a heavily refined food, seriously lacking in nutrients. It is pretty much the "white bread" of soybeans and soy foods. Tofu is the opposite of a whole, unrefined food. Even the isoflavone content is low. It is true that tofu is low in calories (it's mostly water), but did you know it has a high fat calorie content because the of the high oil to water ratio?
Yes, tofu is very versatile, but that doesn't make up for the fact it is so low in nutrition. Tofu can be used in frozen desserts, entrees, salads, soups, creamy salad dressing, stir-fries, and other uses. You should not fry or sauté tofu, for the simple fact it soaks up oil like a sponge. A one pound block of tofu will suck up a quarter cup of vegetable oil in a heartbeat if you sauté it. This gives you a stunning seven hundred fat calories you don't want. You can marinate it and bake it, but you still aren't getting much nutrition at all. What other soy foods are there? Most people have never heard of tempeh, although many chain groceries now sell it. Tempeh is boiled soybeans inoculated with a white fungus to bind them together. This is a whole food, and full of nutrition, but most people simply don't find it that appealing. You should at least buy an inexpensive package one day, marinate it, and bake or sauté it just to see if you like it.
A good oriental market will have a variety of really interesting soy entrees such as soy beef, soy chicken, soy bacon, soy sausage, soy fried chicken, soy duck, and others. You can use these very creatively in your cooking. These aren’t really “meat substitutes”, as there is no reason to substitute for what you shouldn’t be eating. Soy foods simply make your meals much more creative and interesting.
Soy milk is a very nutritious food, but most brands contain about 120 calories per cup. If you drink just one cup a day you are adding an amazing 3,600 calories to your diet every month. Soymilk is best used for cooking and on cold cereal. If you are still using milk and dairy products, you really need to stop completely due to the lactose and casein content. The low-fat and no-fat varieties are still full of indigestible, allergenic lactose (milk sugar). Even lactose-free is still full of cancer promoting casein. Try different brands of soy (or oat, flax, almond or rice) milks until you find the one you like. Don't use coconut milk. Soon you'll very much prefer it to dairy milk. Read the article Non-Dairy Milks.
You can now buy soy (as well as rice, almond and oat) cheese that melts, acts and tastes somewhat like dairy cheese but without the saturated fat. These come in about ten flavors now including cheddar, mozzarella, feta, parmesan, jack, and others. This is a good way to cook the recipes you really enjoy but stop eating dairy cheese. These really aren't that great.
If you have ever tried boiled dry soybeans you probably didn't like them. Most people don't. Dried beans are a wonderful food that should be a basic part of your diet, but soybeans just don't taste very good, and they are the ONLY bean that is high in fat because they have been selectively grown for a high oil content.
Natural food advocates are always telling you to eat more soy foods in order to get those valuable isoflavones (they are NOT "phytoestrogens", as flavones are plant pigments totally unrelated to estrogen or any other hormone). This is not very realistic to suggest this to Western people. Do you know anyone who eats a lot of soy foods? Just use soymilk or take a 40 mg supplement of isoflavones that state the amount of genestein and daizein on the label. Yes, there are hundreds of very good human published, international studies on the value of soy isoflavones. This is an important supplement to take. Read the article Soy is Wonderful in our library for proof of this.
All the anti-soy propaganda comes from the meat and dairy industry, especially the Weston Price Foundation (read Weston Price Foundation and Soy Disisnformation), and morons like Dr. Mercola (read the Dr. Mercola article). These people advocate eating meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy foods. They claim whole grains and soy foods are bad for your health. Truth is stranger than fiction folks. Soy is good food.